Category Archives: Mental health

Articles to do with mental health and mental illness

How Being Mentally Ill Can Leave You Feeling Completely Alone

I guess before I get into writing this story I should probably share a few details about myself and my situation in life…I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder about 25 years ago and am still to this day struggling with that battle. A quick easy explanation of the difference between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2 would be that with Bipolar 1 you will experience full on manic episodes where with Bipolar 2 you may experience Hypomania but your issues lie more in your full on depressive episodes…So Bipolar 1 has more issues with Manic episodes, I do have some depression issues from time to time but my problems have always stemmed from my bad choices and nonstop battle of thoughts in my mind due to me being manic…because of my thoughts racing constantly I am unable to do a lot of things people take for granted such as drive a car because I can not stay focused long enough on one thing to do so…When I was about 22 or 23 I moved back home with my parents because I wasn’t handling my illness very well and that is where I’ve stayed to this day…So that’s where I’m at in my life right now 41 years old, can’t drive and living with my mother…it’s embarrassing to admit even knowing it isn’t my fault I’m in this boat.

You will see a lot of evidence of my illness in my writing, I may jump from subject to subject or add in things that have nothing to do with anything, when I write I don’t plan it out, it comes from my mind straight onto the keyboard and then onto the screen…this will most likely be much longer than I first expected and I’m sure it took me days to write it because there’s no way I just sit here and focus on writing for all that long.

I guess I’ll start back when I was around 17-18 years old my attendance at school suddenly became non existent, I started making really stupid choices and just not ever thinking of the consequences…it was also the age where I started feeling super awkward around people, at first it was just people I didn’t know well and it slowly over a few years turned into even feeling like a stranger around my own family…I went to a high school called Pinkerton Academy in NH and my grades were actually great, I never had an issue with school…it all came pretty naturally to me but I started to have a real issue with the socializing part of things in my senior year and instead of the school working with me and trying to help me get through my last year, the headmaster Mr .Bode called my parents and told them he thought it’d be better if I just dropped out…So that’s what I did, got a job at Wendy’s and started trying to live a normal life.

Keep in mind that I hadn’t been diagnosed with anything at this point so I had no clue why my life and my emotions were going off the rails…I just couldn’t understand why I was the way I was…it became harder and harder for me to be around people to the point where I could only tolerate it if I was drunk or high in some way and that’s where I leaned when I needed to stop feeling the way I was feeling…I was an alcoholic before I was even old enough to drink

So as I said I was trying to live a normal life, moved out of my parents house and got a place in Manchester NH with my GF at the time and a couple of my buddies and there was a short period of time where I even believed that I could pull it off, I could be a “normal” person but then the night came where I was robbed at knife point…in my own living room…that night broke me for good…shortly after that is when I moved up to northern Maine to get away from everything and try to get better and at first my GF moved up with me and things were good for a while but she didn’t understand the changes she was seeing in me…how could she? I didn’t even understand them…so she eventually left and went back home and then there I was 6 hours away from anyone I’d ever known with just my parents around but it was in that time that I was able to get properly diagnosed and start treatment to try and get better.

It might sound so easy…go to a doctor, get the meds you need and you’ll get better except with Bipolar Disorder that is the furthest thing from the truth of how it all goes down….it is a horribly difficult illness to medicate properly as it pretty much constantly changes and evolves…if you don’t need dosage increases you’ll need new different meds at some point….in 25 years the best they’ve been able to do for me is keep me from getting worse, all the problems I had in my 20s I still have today, I still can’t socialize and as you can probably tell from my writing it is still very difficult for me to focus on one thing at a time…I’m very responsible about my illness, i never miss a dose of my meds, I never miss an appointment with my doctors and yet still it is a battle I’m losing every day.

Around the age of 25 is when I met my son’s mother…oddly enough we met on Myspace and hit it off immediately…the first time I met her in person was a game changer for me…I didn’t feel awkward around her, I felt as if I’d known her my whole life, I hadn’t felt this way around someone in well over a decade…I quite literally fell in love with her at first sight…I know sounds corny but it is what it is….instead of feeling like I can’t wait to get away from people and hide out in my own space I actually missed her like crazy when she wasn’t here and looked so forward to seeing her again…We dated for 3 years or so and before I knew it she was pregnant and I was actually super excited rather than afraid or worried…this is exactly what I needed in my life, normalcy and someone who accepts me for me with no conditions put on their love…except the day my son was born something changed in her…I don’t know what happened but that day it was like a switch flipped inside her and from that day on she just always hated me with a passion…so when my son was around 9 months old I woke up in the morning to a cop standing over me telling me she was leaving me and taking my son…I still to this day do not understand what happened and it all crushed me in a way that I’ve still not come back from. I never cheated on her or abused her in any way, it’s just something I’ll never understand.

In the 10 year or so since she left me I’ve had an uphill battle with not only my illness but my self esteem…pretty much secluding myself from the entire world except for my son’s time here with me and my best friend coming up to visit once or twice a year for a weekend…besides that it’s just been me and my parents and my dad actually passed away a few years after she left me so it’s really just been me and my mom…my mom has always been my rock, the one person I can always count on and I guess that’s part of where this overwhelming feeling of dread is coming from lately…you see my mom was just recently diagnosed with Leukemia and was given about a year to live…besides all the normal reasons that kind of news will really mess someone up I also have these intense worries about my own future now that just won’t leave my mind alone.

People don’t understand mental illness typically, friends you’ve known since 5th grade will drop you like a bad habit….someone you love with every ounce of your being will leave you because you had 1 single bad manic episode in 4 years…As I said before I can’t drive, it just wouldn’t be safe and my mom has always been there to help me get around when I needed but now I’m looking at a future where I’m alone and a 6 hour drive from anyone that really cares if I live or die…I’m in a very rural area as well so getting around by foot isn’t possible…as it stands now my two choices for the future are stay put here and struggle to even get to the store for food on a regular basis or move back to NH where my sister and my close friend live and I’ll have people there for me but then I’ll live 7 hours away from my son and hardly ever get to see him…both those choices just fucking suck and I’m really in a place where I have no clue what to do…I’m just fucking lost these days.

So that’s where I’m at in my life…here helping my mom out repaying her for all her kindness throughout my life but knowing in the near future I may just be in a position that I literally can’t survive in…even in the progressive society we live in today there is so much stigma attached to mental illness and that stigma very often leaves people like me out in the cold on our own someday…I’ve come to the conclusion that no woman is going to want to stay with someone like me long term and I’ve accepted that I’ll be alone in those regards probably my whole life but man I gotta tell you…I envy happy couples when I see them together and it does make me miss those feelings sometimes.

I’m a weird person and that’s okay, I write my thoughts to a blog that hardly anyone reads…I haven’t been on a date in a decade…I only have one friend that I see pretty rarely…I guess I’m writing this to say please don’t judge people like me because we’re already judging ourselves so harshly…we’re not like this on purpose, it wasn’t a choice…please remember that in the future and show people more kindness…you’d be amazed what just one nice thing can do to change someone’s day or even life.

I know I rant a lot but hopefully this article is cohesive enough for people that do read it to get it, if even just a little bit.

Tyler Joseph Of Twenty One Pilots Faces Backlash After “Insensitive” Tweet

The front man for Twenty One Pilots Tyler Joseph isn’t someone you usually hear too much controversy about but he’s facing backlash today due to a tweet he made yesterday in which some people felt he was insensitive to the #BLM movement…I’ll show the tweet below but honestly in my opinion it’s a whole lot of fuss over nothing…he made a joke, it wasn’t racist or sexist…it was simply a play on the word platform and you can tell by reactions on Twitter that many people are angered …here’s the tweet:

As you can see he didn’t reference #blm and was simply making a joke about his crazy platform shoes…people need to chill the out these days and worry about stuff that actually matters…it’s clear he meant no ill will towards anyone with the tweet but people still seem pretty angered by it.

Of course as it always happens with cancel culture in full force these days he would surely have to issue an apology on social media…right? Not so much, although he did have a response, it was more explaining himself than apologizing and that set people off even more…He decided to use his platform to talk about suicide prevention rather than BLM and for that he faced further backlash.

Is Black Lives Matter important? yes, very much so but is it the only thing that matters? not even close, people, even celebrities, have a right to use their platform or not use it for whatever causes they see fit…we live in a society now where if someone donates money to a charity they still get grief for not donating enough…you will never make everyone happy so I’m glad he didn’t even try to…here’s some of his tweets:

Suicide prevention is a very important issue to touch on, especially this time of year with Winter coming soon lots of people sink into depression and need to hear messages like this one. Every tweet can’t be about #BLM and it’s perfectly fine that he isn’t bringing it up.

Everyone is aware of Black Lives Matter, there are protests to remind anyone that forgets everyday…there is room for us to care about other things as well…he did nothing wrong here.

But I guess those 800,000 people don’t matter because they aren’t part of the #BLM movement…I honestly don’t understand why people can’t care about both…it’s shameful to shame him for focusing on suicide prevention rather than the cause you want him to focus on…this is clearly what is important to him right now…so let him speak on it and help whoever he might be able to help.

As you can imagine with the world the way it is these days, people had lots of opinions and certainly weren’t going to keep them to themselves.

He made a joke about platform shoes and then used his platform to bring awareness to mental health issues…you hint at it in your tweet man….most people that “bring awareness” pretty much do it because it’s trendy..if the mental health stuff is what’s on his mind right now, why should he force a #blm tweet just to appease the masses?

Exactly, he wasn’t joking about not using his platform for #blm, he was joking about not using it for any issues at all…then he used it to bring attention to an issue he is clearly dealing with in his life right now…I don’t understand the anger, I really don’t…

As someone who has suffered from Bipolar Disorder for 25 years I find it incredibly disheartening to see that people like myself can’t reach out for help or speak on our issues without being accused of not caring about other issues…it’s sad to see so many people clearly take the stance that people like me and our issues just aren’t as important as BLM…I think there’s room to care about both but hey, maybe that’s just me. It’s hard enough for people dealing with mental health issues to reach out for help, certainly doesn’t make it any easier to see a celebrity attacked for it.

What are your thoughts…was the joke too much?

Let us know in the comments 🙂

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Azealia Banks Has Fans Worried After An Alarming Instagram Post

Our mental health can be a fragile thing and celebrities aren’t immune to the same feelings that some of us get from time to time and that seems to be the case with Azealia Banks recently as she posted to her Instagram story today saying “Yea, I think I’m done here. This pandemic, extreme lack of social interaction, no intimacy, combined with constant public ridicule is making life harder than its worth.” which perhaps more of us than we want to admit can relate to in these trying times. She also went on to add  “I’m not begging for attention or asking for sympathy/empathy……I’m just ready to go. Peacefully of course. My soul is tired. I’m ready to go. I will document my last times and release a film for you all to finally understand me, from my perspective. I will try my best to finish the project I promised beforehand. With whatever strength left.” and understandably her fans are extremely worried about her and the state of her mental health.

I’m writing this not so much as a concerned fan but as someone with empathy for what she is feeling as my Bipolar disorder often leaves me feeling the same struggles to find joy and happiness in life…You see people open a dialogue about mental health when stuff like this happens and I suppose that’s a great thing and all but it often fades away fast after the situation isn’t big news anymore…You saw it with Kanye West recently, everyone acting so concerned for a couple days and then you just don’t hear about it anymore.

As a society we need to remove the stigmas attached to mental illness and normalize talking about it and admitting to these kinds of thoughts before they get to this extreme point where you just feel helpless and like there is no other answer but suicide. I hope this situation sheds some light onto the issues some people are dealing with right now…We live in a crazy world and it affects us all differently…As you can imagine her fans and the public in general are quite concerned about her statement, let’s take a look at what people are saying on Twitter.

Many are taking the opportunity to point out her flaws and why she isn’t a good person but now isn’t the time for that…human life is precious, no matter whose it is.

You know you can hate everything about someone but you still shouldn’t wish these kinds of feelings on anyone…sometimes you just need to put that hate away.

Yup that’s the kind of people we should all surround ourselves with, not the people that view this situation as a chance to kick someone while they’re down.

People that can joke about mental illness are the worst kind of people…

The public tend to forget that celebrities have feelings just like the rest of us and that mental illness knows no bounds and can affect anyone.

Here’s a grab of her Instagram post…It really is heartbreaking to read because I’ve been there so many times and know that hopeless feeling well.

But as you can see there is still plenty of ignorance about mental health issues with some feeling success should afford you more empathy???

Yes mental illness is very much real and people dealing with it should be given nothing but sympathy and understanding.

I actually haven’t seen any concrete proof that she is Bipolar, these kinds of feelings can be attributed to many different mental health issues and unless she’s been properly diagnosed it is dangerous to just blame it all on Bipolar Disorder…she very well may have Bipolar Disorder, I just don’t know for sure.

Anyways that’s where I’ll leave it for now, most people are concerned for her well being as they should be but as you could see there are people that just are incapable of sympathy or empathy and sadly those kinds of people will always exist.

What are your thoughts?

Let us know in the comments.

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It’s #InternationalCatDay The Perfect Excuse to Share Cute Pictures of Cats

There’s not really much to write about with this one, I just really love cats and think they’re awesome and wanted an excuse to share a bunch of cute pictures of them…so let’s take a look at people sharing photos of their cats on Twitter…By the way the photo above is my tiny little cat Arya, she’s full grown but for some reason stayed the size of a kitten…no clue why.

Right where a cat should be…ruling over the doggos.

My cat does this same thing pretty much constantly while purring like a lawnmower.

This kitty is a big Beyblade fan I guess.

Can we just call this one John Cena…Because you can’t see him…see what I did there…

That’s one lucky cat surrounded by snacks.

Will you look at the cattitude on this one

This cat’s playing a window sill version of the Hokey Pokey it seems.

Will you look at those ears…He’s the Will smith of kittens!

Such unique markings on this pretty kitty’s face.

And I’ll leave it off with a cat that perfectly expresses how I feel every morning.

How are you celebrating #InternationalCatDay?

Are you more of a dog person?

Let us know in the comments.

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Why Dave Chappelle Visiting Kanye West Renews My Faith In Humanity

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mathieu Bitton/REX/Shutterstock (9010401ac) Dave Chappelle Dave Chappelle in concert, Radio City Music Hall, New York, USA – 19 Aug 2017

Kanye West has been in the news a lot lately and plenty of people have plenty to say about him and I’m sure a lot of his “friends” are distancing themselves from him right now but not Dave Chappelle, he’s there with Kanye west when perhaps Kanye needs a friend most.

I’m no medical expert and I don’t know Kanye West’s medical history but he has stated he has Bipolar Disorder and as someone who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 25 years ago I fully believe him. I can see it in him when he makes these statements that seem to mean so much to him and seem so profound to him and the rest of us just don’t see it that way…See the thing with a manic phase of Bipolar Disorder is that while you’re in it you feel great, unstoppable and invincible but the thing is most of the time you can’t recognize that you’re in one of these phases, this is where good friends that you trust come in, you need them to be straight up with you and tell you you’re fucking up your life or trust me you will make bad decisions and fuck up your life.

I’m not a huge fan of Kanye West but I don’t have anything against him either, I really hope the people close to him recognize that these Manic episodes will eventually end in a huge comedown and depression at some point, I’m a huge fan of Dave Chappelle and I’m glad to see Kanye West has real friends that will tell him how it is because that’s how you help someone in that situation, you don’t enable them and placate illusions of grandeur, it’s dangerous and can end badly once the mania is gone.

All the stuff lately about Kanye aside, the presidential campaign and the Harriet Tubman comment I hope that he is getting the help he needs because Bipolar is not something to be taken lightly and if that is what’s going on with him then he needs the help that friends like Dave Chappelle will be there to give him.

What are your thoughts on the whole thing? let us know in the comments 🙂

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Understanding Depression and Clearing up some Confusion Over It

While browsing Twitter this morning like I always do I came across a tweet that said “Depression isn’t a mental illness, it’s just hopelessness from the hardships of life” and it reminded me just how badly some people misunderstand what depression really is. sure there is situational depression, the bad things in our lives will of course bring us down but if those bad things end so does the situational depression, that’s not the case with clinical depression.

Caused by a chemical imbalance in our brains clinical depression can wreak havoc on anyone’s lives no matter how well that life might be going. often the people in your life can take it personally and feel like if they made you happy and you loved them then you wouldn’t be depressed and not only is that an incorrect way of thinking about it but blaming someone and guilting them for being depressed will just make it way worse for them.

when it comes to mental illness the most harmful thing you can do is make assumptions without educating yourself about it first, If depression was just about how bad or good your life was going do you think we’d see so many celebrities commit suicide? There is a certain kind of low self esteem that comes along with mental illness and that comes primarily from knowing how a lot of people judge you and view you differently once they know you’re mentally ill.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder 25 years or so ago and can attest to the fact that the worst part about it has been the people I care about misunderstanding my illness and abandoning me because they took it personally, there is nothing more important than the people in our lives understanding what we’re going through. So please next time before you judge , stop and think to yourself that this person can’t help it anymore than a cancer patient can help feeling sick from Chemo

There is a great book on depression – The No-Bullshit Guide to Depression

Depression and Anxiety have been a part of my life for nearly three decades now and I have been put on so many depression medications I’ve lost track at this point. You see mental health and depression memes a lot online and I can keep a good sense of humor about them but still wish more people had more empathy and sympathy for those of us who have a depression background and although this is not a depression blog or mental health blog I will periodically be posting about this subject as it is near and dear to my heart so be sure to follow me for future postings.

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Mental Illness: A Look From Within

I turned 40 in January of this year and on the surface I seem just like most people but underneath the surface I’m constantly contending with emotional warfare that few can grasp or understand, I started showing signs of depression and anxiety when I was 14 or 15 years old but it wouldn’t be until I was 22 or so that they would properly diagnose me with Bipolar 1 Disorder, so for 7 years I was being medicated with the wrong medications and it ended up making things worse for me in the long run.

Some of the issues I have that stem from my illness are panic attacks, extreme mood swings, so many thoughts going through my head it could drive a person mad and I am rarely able to leave my home for long stretches as I have a dreadful fear of wide open spaces but as much as these issues affect my life and make things really, really hard for me the thing that makes having a mental illness the hardest is how others view or treat you because of it. Mental illness in general triggers something in most people that causes them to see you differently once they know but Bipolar specifically causes a lot of people to view you as unstable and the term is basically just slang for being crazy now, how many times have you heard someone say something like “She was being so Bipolar” when talking about someone that was just being a little difficult rather than someone with an actual illness.

Some of the worst things you can say to someone suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental illness are things like “Get over it”, “Tough it out” or “Why are you depressed , your life seems so good”. Very often mental illness is caused by a chemical in-balance in the brain and the only option for help are medications and I have a love/hate relationship with medications. I hate the side effects and hate how my meds make me feel but have dealt with my illness long enough to know I need the medication and it’s very important to take it exactly like I’m supposed to.

The stigmas attached to mental illness are a huge part of the problem, there have been countless people that have taken their own lives and allowed their illness to defeat them and most of these people could have been saved just by knowing someone really cared but because most people don’t know how to approach someone with a mental illness these people are often left on their own and forced to give up. When I was in high school I was very popular and outgoing and social and now at 40 years old I have one friend I see twice a year or so and I barely leave my house, one of the for sure symptoms of mental illness, sadly is you’re going to lose a lot of people you care about because they are just incapable of understanding.

I’ve often seen people group the mentally ill and the mentally handicapped together but the truth is the mentally ill are often very highly intelligent, there is nothing quite as annoying as being talked down to condescendingly by someone you’re much more intelligent than.

I just wanted to share some of my story because the people that have stuck around in my life are the one and only reason I’m still here to this day and if more people like me had more people like them the world would be a better place. So please stop and think and try to understand what people are dealing with in their lives because sometimes just letting someone know that you really care about them is enough to save a life.

Perspective & Love

Learning more and more about how important perspective is. It’s the reason all of us disagree on so much on pretty much everything, it’s the reason that every single person you know sees you differently. The experiences we have in our lives give us different outlooks and we all have so many experiences through life no two people can think exactly alike…I try and remind myself of this when dealing with my son’s mother’s hatred for me, I’ve never had anyone see me the way she does on both ends of the spectrum.

In the beginning, I never understood why she liked me so much and now I can’t quantify the level of hatred she has for me when from my perspective the only thing that changed between those two time periods was that we had a child together but hey maybe her life experiences and the things she has been through that I don’t know about cause her to see me as bad or evil or whatever it is that she thinks of me.

What I do know is we can’t define ourselves by what others think of us or what we think of others, not everyone is going to be capable of seeing the real you…I think that’s what real love is when someone can break through all that bullshit and just see the person that loves them back rather than all the things we define people by.

I know it’s not a very long post today but it’s what was on my mind so figured I’d get it out.

How Even A Good Dad Can Lose Custody

This will be a little bit different from most things I write, it will be very personal as it pertains to my current situation in life. To understand the situation you first have to know a few things about me , I am a 40 year old dad who shares custody of my child with my ex, another thing you need to know is that I have Bipolar Disorder and a big part of it for me is Agoraphobia and panic attacks, I am not able to leave my house very frequently and when I can it’s never for too long.

As far as being a dad goes I absolutely fucking love being a dad! My son is 9 now and he has never been hurt ,abused or neglected while in my care, we have a great relationship and he’s a great kid, super well behaved for me, him and his mother don’t get along great and I honestly can’t tell you much about why because I am totally shut out of my son’s life, he lives almost 2 hours away from me while with his mother and she won’t talk to me so I’m left guessing as to what’s going on in his life on that end.

so a bunch of stuff happened a few years back and she wouldn’t let me see my son for 8 months, I don’t want to share too many details but it wasn’t anything bad , the court even awarded me more time in the end , it took awhile for the court shit to happen and we went through all of it and I was awarded the summers with my son instead of half the summers like I used to have, this was partially to make up for the 8 months me and my son just missed out on.

So fast forward to this past summer and a similar situation came up , so once again I had to file with the courts and that’s where I’m at now but see the thing is I can’t afford an attorney and my ex can, so here I am ready to try and go up against a lawyer in court in a month or so and finally realizing how out of my element I really am. I’m incapable of focusing and gathering my thoughts at all when out of my home, I can’t properly represent myself , I have reached out to every pro bono or low income lawyers I could find in my area but I live in a rural area and there just isn’t any help as far as I can find….So what does one do when they know they can’t represent themselves but they can’t afford an attorney? If I was a criminal I would be given one for free but since I’m a law abiding dad I can’t get help.

In a month or two I will walk into a courtroom and I am very worried that I will walk out without my parental rights intact. I’m not a drug addict, I don’t even drink, I’m not a felon or any other kind of criminal and I have never hurt my child in any way, he’s only ever happy when he’s here with me….I’m used to life being unfair to me but my son needs me in his life so I can only wait and hope for the best at this point.

There’s been no wrong doing on my part , that much I know and although I won’t and really can’t get into the details my son’s mother has broke many,many different aspects of our parental agreement and it seems like no matter how many times I bring it up to the courts that I am just not taken seriously and although I’m sure that would change if I had an attorney ,I just can’t afford one, I could afford to make payments to one but every one I’ve contacted wants more money than I have up front. I have a good case, I have done nothing wrong and the opposing party has done everything wrong yet I almost guarantee I walk out of court the one to pay the price.

We all take something for granted at some point and time but there is one thing I will never take for granted and that’s the nights that I get to see my son asleep in his bed at the end of the night and know he’s safe, currently during the school year I get that 4 days a month, not because I’ve done anything wrong or his mom did anything right but simply because I’m a dad and that’s the accepted arrangement these days. It’s changing in some places but in a lot of courts it just takes the mom screwing up really bad for the dad to even stand on equal footing, in the majority of cases I would agree the mom is the better parent but it’s not so in all cases and the cookie cutter approach to custody arrangements just isn’t viable.